Everyone loves a good vacation, but no one likes leaving their home unattended. There is so much that can go wrong in just a few short days. Your home can easily become a target for theft, experience a leak or fire, or be the victim of a natural disaster. Of course, it is necessary to have quality home insurance coverage to protect you from all of these potential risks. But no one ever wants to let things go this far and have to worry about settling a claim. Insurance is always a must-have, but there are some things you can do ahead of time to protect your home. Here’s what we recommend doing before leaving for your vacation.
Install a security system
A home security system is one of the best ways you can protect your home by knowing what is happening when you aren’t there. Today’s security systems are very advanced with options such as doorbell cameras, window sensors, glass break alerts, fire alerts, and apps that allow you to see 24/7 surveillance of your home. Most insurance companies will also give you some cost savings on your homeowner’s policy. A security system will send you, the police, and whoever your emergency contacts are instant notification in case of an emergency, giving you peace of mind while you’re away.
Clear Out The Mailbox
A mailbox overflowing with mail usually signals one of two things: extreme laziness or that you’re away on vacation. Don’t give people any hints that your house is unattended and make sure you clear out every piece of mail before you go to avoid it from overflowing later on. If your trip is going to last extensively long, place a hold on your mail or have a trusted friend collect it daily so you can avoid dropping clues that you are gone.
Always Leave On Lights
A pitch-black house is a major clue that no one is home. Make sure you leave a light glowing on your porch as well as a few lights inside. You can install bright nightlights to give front-facing rooms a bit of illumination or leave on the hall or overhead lights. Just be careful that you don’t leave on any lights that are prone to overheating and will pose a potential fire hazard.
Hide or Lock Up Valuables
This one is a no brainer. If you don’t want a thief to steal something, don’t leave it out in the open for them to see. A safe is a great way to lock up valuables and important documents. Be sure to hide the safe in a concealed location, like under a piece of furniture or in a closet. If you are concerned about any valuable, in particular, consider investing in an insurance policy just for that piece. Home theft is the main reason why jewelry policies, for example, are becoming increasingly more popular.
Prevent Water Damage
A leak can cause serious damage, especially after days of being left unattended. Keep this problem from happening by shutting off the main water valve in your home and blocking the supply of water. This can get tricky if you live in a cold area since you don’t want the pipes to freeze, so be sure to look ahead at the weather and make an educated plan of action for what you should do. If you can, get someone your trust to check on your house and monitor the current conditions on your behalf.
When All Else Fails
The last thing anyone wants to come home from vacation to is a big mess and have to file an insurance claim. Whether it is from theft, weather damage, or improper home maintenance, there is a lot that can go wrong. That is what you need to plan ahead and take a few precautionary measures. Most of all, you still need to have quality homeowners insurance in place just in case the worst does happen.